THE University of Chichester has been awarded £200,000 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to lead a collaborative project addressing the shortage of skilled health and social care workers.

Up to 1.6million workers will be needed by 2022 to replace those leaving the sector, according to the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank.

The Sussex Learning Network was a key partner in securing the funding for the one-year project which is a collaboration between further and higher education providers, private businesses, and public authorities to upskill the workforce across Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight.

University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Catherine Harper said: “Opportunities for health and social care development and progression are vital to ensure the sector recruits appropriately-skilled and qualified workers in the numbers needed by regional employers.

“The University will lead the collaborative project partnering with the Sussex Learning Network and others to deliver a bridging course between further and higher education.

“The programme is designed to be sustainable beyond the funding period of January 2019 to continue to address the health and social care needs of the region.”

More than 30 universities and colleges in England were awarded a share of £6.1million from HEFCE to develop new and enhanced higher education courses.

Each bidder was funded up to a maximum of £200,000 from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund programme, with additional investment provided by the universities and colleges alongside national employers.

An additional £205,000 has been raised by the University and its partners to supplement the investment.

The HEFCE money is intended to upskill those who will contribute to future UK economic growth by providing employees with expertise in technology-related sectors, including advanced engineering, artificial intelligence, bioscience, and health and social care. It is aligned to the government’s long-term Industrial Strategy which, launched last year, aims to boost the productivity and earning power of people across the country.

Professor Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said: “We were delighted with the quality of proposals received for this funding call and particularly the impressive levels of engagement between higher education and industry.

“The funding will provide new courses and vital skill developments in key industrial sectors across the country from which students, the workforce, and employers all stand to benefit.”

To find out more about the investment from HEFCE for the collaborative curriculum project go to

You can access the Government’s Industrial Strategy in our Resources section

Project title: Co-designing curriculum innovation to address Health and Social Care skills gaps in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight.

Project start and end date: 28 January 2018 to 27 January 2019

For further information please email the Project Manager, Lucy at